Transparency Glossary

Approved Budget—The approved budget reflects all adjustments approved by the School Board in May resulting from revised revenue, expenditures, membership, and other projections and is the budget implemented on the following July 1.

Beginning Balance—Unexpended funds from a prior fiscal year that may be used to finance expenditures during the current or upcoming fiscal year.

Benefits—Expenditures related to employee benefits that are funded through employee and employer payroll deductions, like health insurance, retirement, and Social Security costs.

Capital Improvement Program (CIP)—The CIP is used as a basis for determining the timing and size of proposed bond referenda to be placed before the voters of Fairfax County. The primary source of funding for school construction projects is the sale of bonds authorized by the voters in these referenda.

Capital Outlay—Expenditures for capital-related expenditures.

Category—FCPS uses the term “category” to describe a particular set of similar expenditures. For example, employee salaries are in the category “regular salaries,” and electricity and natural gas fall in the category of “utilities.”

Compensation—Expenditures related to employee pay including both salaries and benefits.

Fiscal year (FY)—The FCPS financial year encompasses the 12 months beginning July 1 and ending the following June 30. The fiscal year number is determined based on the June 30th year. For example, FY 2014 begins July 1, 2013, and ends on June 30, 2014.

FOCUS—FOCUS (Fairfax County Unified System) supports business functions including financial management, procurement, and human resources management for both Fairfax County Government (FCG) and Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). FCPS has currently implemented the financial and procurement modules of FOCUS. The data in the Transparency Application is from FOCUS.

Fund—As defined by the state auditor of public accounts, a group of accounts that are similar in nature. i.e., having similar activities, objectives, or funding sources. FCPS has a total of ten funds; a brief description of each follows:

School Operating Fund

This fund provides for the day-to-day operations and maintenance of the schools and is funded primarily by county and state funds. In the Transparency Application, this fund is separated into: Operating Fund – Operations; and Operating Fund – Central and Grants. The School Operating Fund is FCPS’ primary (or general) fund. Those activities that are partially supported by grants and activities managed by departments on behalf of schools are shown separately from general operating activities.

Food and Nutrition Services Fund

This fund is used to account for the procurement, preparation, and serving of student breakfasts, snacks, and lunches. The primary revenue sources are receipts from food sales and the federal school lunch program.

Grants and Self-Supporting Programs Fund

This fund is used to account for federal, state, nonprofit, and private industry grants that support instructional programs. This fund is also used to account for the summer school program, funded primarily from the School Operating Fund and tuition. In the Transparency Application, this fund is separated by activity into Grants and Self-Supporting Fund – Summer, and Grants and Self-Supporting Fund – Grants.

Adult and Community Education Fund

This fund is used to account for program activities offered by the Office of Adult and Community Education. These programs include basic skills education, high school completion, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), apprenticeship and occupational skills instruction, and various consumer education and special interest courses. The main revenue source is tuition paid by the participants, county agencies, and local businesses.

School Construction Fund

This fund provides for the construction of new facilities, facility renewals, expansions, building modifications, and other capital expenditures. Funds come primarily from the sale of general obligation bonds by the County.

School Insurance Fund

This fund provides for the administration of workers’ compensation accounts, the centralization of self-insurance accounts for liability, and the purchase of commercial insurance. The primary revenue source is a transfer from the School Operating Fund.

Health and Flexible Benefits Fund

This fund is a self-insurance fund used to account for the transactions associated with the comprehensive health benefits self-insurance program. This fund also provides for payment of eligible health care and dependent care expenditures for employees participating in the flexible spending account program. The primary revenue source is employer, employee, and retiree contributions.

Central Procurement Fund

This fund accounts for centrally procured materials, supplies, and equipment. Revenue is derived from the sale of centrally purchased items to schools.

Educational Employees’ Supplementary Retirement System of Fairfax County Fund (ERFC)

This fund is used to account for assets held for the members and beneficiaries of ERFC, a single-employer defined benefit pension plan. The primary revenue sources are investment income and employee and employer contributions.

School Other Post-Employment Benefits Trust Fund (OPEB)

This fund is used to account for accumulating and investing assets for FCPS’ post-employment health benefit subsidies for eligible retirees and their surviving spouses, as required by governmental accounting standards. The primary revenue sources are employer contributions and investment income.

Line item—A “line item” is simply the individual expenditure types that fall in the larger category. For example, “electricity” is a line item in “utilities.”

Work Performed for Others (WPFO)—Expenditure credits for services provided on behalf of a different FCPS department.



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Last Updated

October 2, 2015